Comelec exec denies dagdag-bawas raps, says Koko Pimentel?s men offered her money

In a one-page press statement, lawyer Lilian Radam said the allegations hurled against him by the candidate are baseless and unfounded.

Pimentel alleged that the administration’s “special operators” had tried to rig the results of the senatorial contest in South and North Cotabato in a bid to dislodge him from the winning column.

Pimentel said the “dagdagbawas” operators in the two provinces tampered with the results to inflate the votes for Team Unity candidate Juan Miguel Zubiri by about 230,000.

As of Saturday, the lawyer from Cagayan de Oro City was hanging on to the 12th spot.

Pimentel’s accusations prompted the Commission on Elections to suspend the tabulation of the results from North Cotabato and South Cotabato in the ongoing national canvassing of votes.

“I categorically state that there was no fraud and no ‘dagdagbawas’ that took place in the canvassing of votes for senatorial candidates in South Cotabato,” Radam stated in her statement which was handed over by a relative to Catholic-run radio station dxND.

She stressed the allegations have put her name, her office, and the integrity of the electoral process in South Cotabato “in a bad light.”

“Without due investigation, Pimentel accused me of involvement in ‘dagdag-bawas’ that aimed to rob him of votes in South Cotabato,” she added

According to her, results of the May 14 elections in her province were properly canvassed in the presence of the entire Provincial Board of Canvassers, including watchers of different political groups, party-lists, election watchdogs, and other individuals.

“The same results were reflected properly on the Statement of Votes (SOVs).   The election returns (ERs) and the SOVs submitted to the National Board of Canvassers bear the same data as the copies of the ERs and SOVs that are now at the Provincial Election Office in South Cotabato,” she explained.

Submitting spurious and questionable results, she added, “was of no benefit to us.   But it could only be beneficial to a candidate who is losing but who could gain victory if a cloud of doubt hovered over the electoral process and its results.”

Radam also turned the table against Pimentel by saying she has proof that his men have offered her ‘financial considerations’ in exchange for assurance that he will land on the Magic 12 in South Cotabato.

“I am more than willing and ready to provide the details of these offers and identify the people involved in the proper forum,” she concluded in her press statement.